Why Do Some Pans Not Work on Induction Hobs?

Jen Hammond

May 10, 2022

Last updated on May 24, 2022


So – you’ve bought yourself a new induction hob, and you’re excited to start using it! However, you may have come to find that some pans simply don’t work on your new induction hob. Is there something wrong with the hob? Is it something that you are doing wrong? Why Do Some Pans Not Work on Induction Hobs? 

The answer’s likely to be no, in both cases. In fact, if your induction hob is not working with all of your pans, then you can be happy knowing that the system is likely working perfectly fine! 

The fact is that, in order for your induction hob to heat up and start cooking, it will need a very specific kind of pot or pan. Without it, it simply won’t work. Of course, this can seem like a bit of a pain, but trust us – it’s worth the extra investment.

Why don’t some pans work on induction hobs? 

Induction hobs heat up by using the energy from a magnetic field. Simply put, there is a coil beneath the surface of your induction hob that creates such fields. To complete the connection or circuit, it needs a magnet, which in this case, is built into the base of your pan or pot. 

Sadly, not all pots and pans have magnetic bases – and many of us do learn this the hard way. A pan will only work with an induction hob if it has a base that is, generally, made from cast iron or magnetic stainless steel. 

Once the hob detects the pan magnet, it begins heating from the coil directly through the base. That is also why they are so time and energy-efficient! Since the hob does not have to heat up the ring or zone before the pan, you will find that your induction hob will save you a lot of time, energy, and even money.

However, in order for all of that to work, you will need to ensure that you have a set of specific induction pans. So, if you have noticed that your induction hob does work with some of your pans and not others, then that is because some have magnetic bases. It’s worth checking the pots and pans you do have available before buying an induction hob – and we’ll come to this a little more a bit further down.

Is there any induction hob that works with regular pans? 

Induction hobs, by their very nature, work using magnetic fields – they simply won’t work with regular (or in this case) non-magnetic cookware.

However, that does not mean that you are entirely out of options. There’s a good chance are that you already have a few pots and pans that have magnetic bases, and thankfully, you will not have to test each and everyone out on the hob to check! 

This is why it pays to be careful with the cookware you invest in if you’re sure you are going to upgrade your appliances in time to come. Traditional or regular pots and pans are best reserved for traditional gas and electric surfaces.

How do I check to see if my pans will work on my induction hob? 

Do you have a fridge magnet or two handy? Great news – checking if your pots and pans will work on an induction hob is nice and easy.

However, first of all, make sure to check the bases of the pots and pans you’re already using. If they have symbols on them or inscriptions telling you that they can be used on an induction hob, then you are good to go. However, not all induction cookware is this helpful – meaning you are going to need to have that fridge magnet to hand.

Place your magnet(s) underneath the base of the pans you’d like to test. If the magnet sticks to the base of the pan, then it’s fit to use on an induction hob. If, on the other hand, the magnet does not stick, then you’re going to have to rethink what you want to do with it.

If your pots and pans aren’t magnetic and you really want to invest in an induction hob, it may be worth passing your old cookware on, or even trying to sell it online. At least this way, you’ll be able to make a little money towards investing in a new set!

What do I do if my pans don’t work on my induction hob? 

Now, you may be thinking that all is doomed because none of your pots or pans work on an induction hob – however, you do have a few options. 

The first thing that you can do is buy an induction hob converter. Shaped like a flat disc, this helpful tool will ensure that all of your pots and pans work on your induction hob. They are low-cost and can be found online or in certain kitchen appliance stores. 

However, they are not necessarily good options to use in the long run. They could end up damaging your induction hob if used for too long on too high a temperature. There are pros and cons for using converters – but ultimately, you’re better off looking into a new set of cookware outright.

Of course, this is an entirely new cost to consider, which is why it could be wise to use the induction hob converter until you find the right new set of pots and pans or have the budget set aside for it. Start saving up if you’re serious about induction cooking – it’s worth it!


Unfortunately, the cost of investing in an induction hob doesn’t start and end with the cooktop itself. You’re likely going to need to swap out much of your cookware if you’ve been using electric or gas hobs for years. That is, of course, unless you are lucky enough to already have magnetic pots and pans!

However, for many people, the cost is worth it. Be willing to shop around and save up a little if you’re set on efficient hob cooking!

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